What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Goal setting is well known to help teams deliver value. Goals help to equitably allocate tasks, track progress, manage time and focus effort. Defining meaningful goals, however, can sometimes be tricky.

Enter George Doran, the person credited with developing the SMART approach to goal setting. In his paper, “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”, Doran presented an approach to help demystify the goal setting process and “write meaningful objectives”, and with it, SMART goals were born! SMART goals are a justifiably popular mechanism. They are an exceptional tool to help your team capture and articulate their vision and agree to the measurements of success. 

Your team can use a SMART framework anytime you want to set, review or refine your goals. And if you’re looking for a way to foster a sense of collaboration and empower your team with a shared purpose, defining SMART goals is a great way to do it.
Related templates
Meeting tips using the SMART Goals technique

Why use SMART goals?

When it comes to goal setting, a SMART framework will help your team cut to the chase! It will support and focus your team as they shape clear goals that are realistic, actionable and effective. Not only will a SMART framework help your team define their goals efficiently, it will capture those goals so they can be clearly, concisely, and easily shared with new team members and other stakeholders.

A SMART framework helps to confirm your goals – are worth delivering, can be tracked to demonstrate change, are correctly resourced, and are appropriately aligned.

A goal like Improving fitness is too general. A SMART goal would be to be able to run 10KMs in under an hour by July is far more meaningful and focussed.

When should I shape a SMART Goal?

All common types of goals can be improved when viewed through a SMART lens. Examples of common goals include:

  • Increasing or reducing something – Reduce the error rates of a production of product X by the next financial year by 5%.
  • Making or creating something – Introduce 3 working prototype variations by the next quarter for an innovative approach to wear and tear detection.
  • Refining, improving or developing something – Improve the yield rate by 0.5% through introduction of new pesticide routines.

Defining a goal to include key parameters, resources, timeframe and metrics, brings greater clarity to a shared team vision. So, whenever you shape a goal, make it a SMART!

SMART Goal Template Example

To get the most out of the SMART Goals template, first utilise a simple brainstorm to capture all the goals your team may wish to deliver, then review it to identify the goal you wish to expand into a SMART Goal.

When you’re working with a large or distributed team, getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, inconvenient, and costly. Using different technologies like video conferencing, online forms, and collaborative brainstorming software such as GroupMap can help overcome these challenges. 

Objective: Define the clear objective your team wants to deliver 

Brainstorm: Gather inputs from each person 

Share and communicate: Confirm everyone’s understanding of the SMART GOAL

How to use the SMART Goals Template to run better meetings

Objective

Share the context for the SMART Goal

Brainstorm

Add ideas under each heading of the
SMART Goal Template

Share and Communicate

Confirm the results from the teams and get buy-in

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.